Tyler Biggs reacts after the Toronto Maple Leafs made him their 22nd pick in the NHL Entry Draft:
Q. Tyler, you grew up a Maple Leaf fan, it sounds like, and here you are wearing the blue and white.
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, for me and my family right now it's a dream come true. I grew up watching them. Watching Hockey Night in Canada with my dad. I have all my relatives back home blowing up my phone right now, I realize. Yeah, like I said, it's a dream come true. I can't wait to potentially get there.
Q. You're going to be going to the University of Denver this fall. What are your thoughts on playing for George Gwozdecky and that great program he's got?
TYLER BIGGS: I'm actually playing for the University of Miami.
Q. I'm sorry, with Enrico Blasi in Miami?
TYLER BIGGS: I'm ecstatic. I had a great relationship with the coaches right off the bat through the recruiting process. They've been with me since day one going through everything, and I've really appreciated it and I can't wait to get things started.
Q. Now Connor Murphy who is going to be a soon-to-be teammate of yours was drafted earlier. Have you guys had -- I know it's real quick here, but are you going to get a chance to talk before you guys get to Miami together?
TYLER BIGGS: Oh, yeah. Me and Connor have been great friends. He's actually going to be my roommate, so I'm so happy for him. I can't wait to see him hopefully soon.
Q. How long did you live in Toronto?
TYLER BIGGS: I only lived in Toronto for a year, but all of my relatives and everything are there. My dad and mom were born there, so we go up there a fair amount.
Q. All your uncles and aunts?
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, all my uncles and all my aunts.
Q. Did you go up there to play hockey?
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, for the Toronto JR Canadiens.
Q. So you had an idea that they were pretty interested in you?
TYLER BIGGS: I had a good idea. They were a team I talked to a fair amount, so that idea went through my mind.
Q. What did Brian say to you on stage?
TYLER BIGGS: Just that he was looking forward to everything, and he had heard a lot of good things and seen a lot of good things. So hopefully everything will go well.
Q. After all the weekends out there, what do you bring to the table?
TYLER BIGGS: I think I'm your prototypical power forward that can try to do it all. I like to play with an edge and play very physical and I have an offensive side as well.
Q. What are you working on this summer?
TYLER BIGGS: This summer I'm actually trying some new things. I'm trying Pilates three times a week. I'm doing agility work and weightlifting. I'm going to have a pretty busy summer. My goal in August is to make the Lake Placid team for the World Juniors, so I'm excited.
Q. You've obviously kept in tune with the culture change at the Leafs and the rebuild that Brian has been stocking. You seem to be that perfect fit there. As you look ahead to the draft and you're a fan of the organization, were you also a fan that you thought this would be a perfect fit for you, and you know some of the guys that Brian is adding to the mix?
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, definitely. That was something I definitely thought about. It was something that me and my parents talked about before. Coming into this we were just going into it, we were hoping for anybody to take me. I'm just happy to be part of this and in the situation I am in now. Right now we're just going through it and kind of taking it all in.
Q. (What did you learn from the USA Hockey program?)
TYLER BIGGS: Obviously, it was huge. I don't think I'd be the player I am now if it wasn't for the program. The amount of work and time they put in getting bigger and stronger and playing against older competition and everything like that. Going into the program I didn't know the role as a player that I wanted to be, and Coach Rolston really developed me into where I am now.
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, going through the Combine that was the one guy I tried to compare myself to if they asked. He's a great player, and a great player to compare yourself after. He scored his first 30-goal season. So obviously you can't really compare yourself right now. If I could be half of where he is right now, I'd be happy.
Q. I don't know if this has been asked, but what are your plans for next year?
TYLER BIGGS: You know, I think there is always going to be talk
about it. Right now I am committed to Miami of Ohio, and as of now that's where I plan on going.
Q. Did you make any visits to Toronto over the last three or four weeks to work out with the team?
TYLER BIGGS: No.
Q. Can you talk about your decision to go to Miami?
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, like I said earlier, I think I had a great relationship through the recruiting process right off the bat with the coaches. They gave me my time and my space which meant a lot to me. At the same time they're a team that's headed in the right direction. For me they're not a team that sits back on their heels. They're a team that's going to run-and-gun. It was a good fit for me I thought going into it.
TYLER BIGGS: It definitely went through my head that I could
possibly be picked. Like I said earlier, with them being my favorite team, it's just -- but you never know. I just had to wait. Once I heard my name called, I was very happy.
Q. Who were your favorite Leafs?
TYLER BIGGS: Right now my favorite Leaf is Dion Phaneuf. I love the way he plays.
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, you saw their '92 team and how well they did, and I went up in the summer and got a feel for things and wanted to have the opportunity for more exposure. Going into the GTHL, obviously one of the best Triple-A programs and leagues, was definitely something I wanted to be a part of.
Q. Tyler, obviously the Leafs traded up to get you thinking somebody else was going to grab you before three picks went by. How does it feel?
TYLER BIGGS: Yeah, it feels great. Watching the Leafs and growing up watching the Leafs, it's pretty surreal right now. It's something that went through my head that it could have been a possibility. But with this draft, you had to sit and wait. Anybody could go anywhere after the first five or so. It was very nerve-racking, but once they called my name, I was pretty happy.
Q. How do you plan on celebrating tonight?
TYLER BIGGS: I have all my family here, and hopefully I'll get to see them here shortly. Then after that I'm coming back tomorrow and we're going to go home and have a draft party there.
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